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Posts tagged ‘Jacob’

Lamed Hey: In the Footsteps of Our Forefathers.


The 'Patriarchs Route' just south of Jerusalem
The ‘Patriarchs Route’ just south of Jerusalem (Yehoshua Halevi / Golden Images)

Growing up in New Jersey, my youth was filled with visits to important places associated with George Washington; where he fought, slept, and ate, and places associated with Thomas Edison and his many inventions. I even grew up next to a house whose sub-basement was a stop on the Underground Railroad. These bits of history as far back as 1775 are vividly etched in my mind still today.

Living in Israel, I have been exposed to a new set of landmarks, some obvious ones going back thousands of years including the Western Wall and remains of Jerusalem’s ancient Temples, the burial places of our patriarchs and matriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Leah, Rebecca and Rachel, Joseph and others. These are frequented on typical tourist itineraries, but there are many more off the beaten path, literally and figuratively.

These sites are landmarks in the thousands of years of Jewish history, underscoring our ancient, and modern, connection to the Land.

One example is a path through the mountains near my home south of Jerusalem called Derech HaAvot – the “Patriarchs Route.” More than just a catchy name, this winding dirt path is literally one of the ways that people walked south from Jerusalem to the desert, to Israel’s southern coast, and residential and commercial areas of the day, thousands of years ago. Did Abraham and Sarah and their children and grandchildren walk these very routes, maybe while going down to or returning from Egypt? There’s no archeological evidence of that (yet) but it’s intuitive that they did, as this was one of the highways of their day.

There’s something awesome and humbling knowing that these very hills, with their hot dry weather, beautiful landscapes, and magnificent sunsets, are the same today as when they lived, connecting us deeply to the Land, and our history. Of course, the most famous Book documents this all, I just have the privilege to live and raise my family here.

As much as biblical events happened all around us, there’s a vast amount of modern historical connection we have to the Land as well. A few years ago, we went with friends to visit one of Jerusalem’s lesser-known but no less interesting historical spots, the Museum of the Underground Prisoners. This is where the British used to incarcerate Jews who were accused of many crimes including being part of the resistance to the British Mandate and British policies limiting the number of Jewish immigrants, including refugees and Holocaust survivors who were able to reach the shores of our homeland.

Growing up here at that time, my father used to tell me about his friends’ older siblings who were arrested and sent to places like this, or exiled to Cyprus, for “crimes” as serious as posting flyers against the British. Back in the Underground Prison, one of our friends we were with, whose family goes back generations in Jerusalem, was raised both with academic lessons and personal family stories of this era. While exploring the museum’s exhibit that recounted the experiences of the prisoners, she came across a small Book of Psalms with a sign next to it that it had belonged to her uncle who had been imprisoned there. This little book was a link in the chain of Jewish life and experiences in Israel before 1948 that made the visit very personal to us all, and especially to her children who were fascinated to see a piece of modern history that documented their family’s ties to our national history. OK, it’s not the same as finding the knife that Abraham would have used to sacrifice Isaac, but it is meaningful all the same.

Every other year for the past several years, most recently this week, one or more of my kids joined thousands of Israeli teens commemorating the anniversary, an annual re-enactment of a famous hike, that of the legendary Lamed Hey. The kids experience for a night the mission, terrain, and weather, of an historic event in modern times, and our unbreakable bond to the Land. Lamed Hey are the Hebrew letters that represent the number 35 for the Thirty-Five soldiers who set out on an all-night mission to bring aid to the Gush Etzion region during Israel’s War of Independence.

On January 15, 1948, the Thirty-Five set out by foot carrying heavy backpacks loaded with first-aid supplies, plasma, weapons, and ammunition for the embattled Jewish Gush Etzion communities. They were forced to proceed slowly up the Judean Mountains’ rocky terrain. They departed before midnight, more than 15 miles away. Other than braving a cold Judean Mountain winter night, they first had to bypass a British police station unnoticed, and continue through hostile Arab territory.

The Thirty-Five walked throughout the night. Near dawn they approached Zurif, the last Arab village before Gush Etzion, four miles away. The unit was detected and shots were fired at them. They were deep in enemy territory without any means to call for outside help. As soon as the battle began, the commander realized that they would not be able to break through to Gush Etzion. They quickly split into two and, with one group covering the other, they climbed to the top of what is now known as “Battle Hill,” a strategic defensive location. The Thirty-Five bravely defended themselves against the fierce attacks of hundreds of Arabs from neighboring villages. Toward evening on Jan. 16, the supply of ammunition which the Thirty-Five carried began to run out. The battle ended with the death of the last of the Thirty-Five who, having used all their ammunition, died with rocks in their hands. After the battle, many of the bodies were mutilated by the Arabs beyond recognition.

We are connected to this Land, biblically, historically, and in modern times in more ways than can be recounted. We have paid a heavy price to return and restore Jewish sovereignty to the Land that God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their descendants, including me and my family.

It is with no small measure of joy and privilege that I raise my children here, 10-15 minutes from Jerusalem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, and “Battle Hill” to where each of my four eldest children retraced the footsteps of modern forefathers, recalling their bravery, and our timeless connection to this, our Land, in the footsteps of our modern and biblical forefathers.



Jonathan Feldstein is the director of Heart to Heart, a unique virtual blood donation program to bless Israel and save lives in Israel. Born and educated in the U.S., Feldstein emigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. Throughout his life and career, he has been blessed by the calling to fellowship with Christian supporters of Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He writes a column for Charisma’s Standing With Israel. You can contact Jonathan

EFCC Press Release: Babalakin’s Sudden Appearance in Court Forestalls Bail Revocation.

There was a mild drama in Lagos on Monday, December 9, 2013 as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, through its counsel,  Rotimi Jacobs SAN, told Justice Lawal Akapo  of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja  to revoke the bail granted Chairman of Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited,  Dr. Wale Babalakin. Babalakin is standing trial alongside Alex Okoh and three companies: Stabilini Visioni Limited, Bi-Courtney Limited  and Renix Nigeria Limited on a 27-count charge that borders on conspiracy to commit felony, corruptly conferring benefit on account of public action and retention of proceeds of a criminal conduct to the tune of N4. 7 Billion. Jacob argued that Babalakin was conspicuously absent in court for the second time, after he failed to show up on November 27, 2013, which led to an adjournment.

According to him, “the defendant failed to show up in court on the 27th of November, and he is not in court again today and that is a breach of the bail condition granted him by the previous Judge, which he is still enjoying. No explanation has been given and no medical report has been presented to this court”.

But the defence counsel, Mr. Wale Akoni, SAN, argued that there was an application before the court, asking the court to dispense the presence of the accused person, and based on this, Babalakin cannot be in the dock. But Justice Akapo, after listening to the argument of the defense counsel, stated that “the accused should have shown up in court and then the issue of challenging the charge can now come up”.

While still on this argument, the accused, Dr. Wale Babalakin walked into the court at about 11:20am, to the consternation of the prosecution counsel.

At this point, Jacob prayed the court to dock Babalakin since he was representing his companies which were not included in the application. According to Rotimi, “the accused person should come to the dock as the application to dispense was only made on behalf of the first defendant (Babalakin) alone”. But Akoni countered that the aim of the application would have been defeated if Babalakin had to be docked separately for the companies he represented.

After listening to the submissions of both the prosecuting and defense counsel, Justice Akapo said that Babalakin should not be docked as the representative of his two companies, on the grounds that he was one and the same with the company and that the companies had filed same applications challenging the charges before the court.

On the strength of the ruling, counsel to the second accused person, Mr. Obele Olaniran, then prayed the court to also excuse his client, Alex Okoh from standing in the dock. According to him, Okoh had also filed a similar application before the court.

Justice Akapo then ruled that “in view of the first ruling, the second defendant is excused from entering the dock, pending the determination of his application dated 30th January, 2013”.

A further application was also made for the release of the International passport of the second defendant, Alex Okoh, which according to Olaniran, he had collected the document a couple of times from the EFCC on court order and returned it on the agreed dates. Justice Akapo said that Okoh’s passport could only be released to him on bond and must be returned to the EFCC on January 30th, 2014.

He then adjourned the matter till January 20, 2014 for hearing of all subsisting applications.

Wilson Uwujaren
Ag. Head, Media and Publicity
9th December, 2013.


The power of life-encouraging words…

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels.” 
-Proverbs 15:1

Words are incredibly powerful. This ministry was built, not just by hard work, but also by the words of my grandpa and other people saying to each other, “We should build a church that, when you’re inside, you feel like you’re outside in the beauty of God‘s creation.”

Words inspire people, lift people up, encourage people, give new ideas, and cast vision. Words also put people down, injure people, hurt people, and stop people in their tracks.

People in the Bible understood the power of words. Moses couldn’t enter the Promised Land because he hit the rock instead of speaking to it. God was showing Moses that the new reality, the new power, wasn’t in violence; it was in words. And Jacob did everything he possibly could just to get his father Esau to say a word of blessing over him because he knew that those words had incredible power to bless his life.

Many of us carry personal memories of insults that parents or mentors said to us that still pain us today. Some of us also carry with us life-encouraging blessings, maybe spoken years ago by someone older who loved us and saw something in us.

Words create, words destroy. Words are powerful.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to choose my words wisely. Let them be pleasant to hear and bring life to those they fall upon. Amen.

Reflection: How do you bless others with your words?

Living as Sons and Daughters, Not Slaves.

Os Hillman

“I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6:18).

Satan wants us to see ourselves as slaves and orphans, not sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. The marketplace wants to make us slaves living from performance instead of our heart.

In Luke 15 we find the story of the prodigal son. Jesus tells this story of a son who asked for an early inheritance, then floundered it away through a sinful life. Once he realized his sin, he repented. The father welcomed him back and did not even make mention of his sin. He rejoiced over the return of this son. This is a picture of the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father. His brother, however, was a picture of a son living as a slave. He lived to please the father through his performance. His works made him feel entitled to preference and he was angry with the father’s unconditional acceptance of the wayward son. His pride revealed that he was not living as a son, but a slave. We are all susceptible to this attitude.

Before we were born again into God’s Kingdom we were all slaves and orphans. However, all of us are adopted as sons and daughters when we receive Christ into our lives.

“Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ“ (Galations 4:1-7).

Living as a son is the key to living a victorious Christian life. Joseph lived as a son, not as a slave. His father Jacob doted on him. In fact, his father gave too much favoritism to his son, attracting spirits of envy and jealousy which almost resulted in murder. Even when Joseph was made a slave in Egypt, he still lived as a son. A slave would have become bitter and would have retaliated for his circumstances. However, Joseph entrusted himself to his Father as evidenced by his behavior. He was thrown four difficult tests and he passed each one of them with flying colors. He passed the test of betrayal by forgiving God and his brothers. He passed the sexual temptation by fleeing from Potiphar’s wife and going to prison for his righteousness. He passed the perseverance test when he was forgotten after giving a dream interpretation to the cupbearer. And, he passed the stewardship test when he refused to repay all those who had betrayed him and became a faithful steward over the resources of Egypt. Joseph lived 81 years after being elevated from the prison cell. He could never have passed those tests had he not lived as a son. The one thing he always wanted more than anything else was to see his father again. The father-son connection was strong in Joseph and this is why he was successful in his trials.

“And God sent me before you to preserve posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of his entire house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:7-8).

When God delivered Joseph from prison, he took him from prison to the pinnacle of power. Many of us have taught that Joseph was second in command to Pharaoh. Actually, Joseph was over his entire household. He may not have had the title of Pharaoh, but from a spiritual position, Joseph was over the entire nation. However, a closer examination of scripture tells us two very important things about his advancement. The purpose of Joseph’s deliverance was “to save the lives of his brothers for the sake of a new nation” and for Joseph to “spiritually father Pharaoh.”

How could it happen that a 30-year old would father someone possibly twice his age? It is because it was a spiritual relationship. Joseph never lost sight of who he was. He never lived as an orphan or a slave. He could be a father to Pharaoh because he was a good son first. He was able to forgive and see a larger story to his life because of his position as a son that he never rejected. This allowed him to operate from an intimate relationship with his Heavenly Father, to have dreams and interpret dreams and to gain super-natural marketplace strategies that would give him favor among the leaders of government because he was a problem solver, not just a religious person. This is also why he did not succumb to the temptations that come with power and influence and wealth. He remained a steward of God’s purposes on the earth for the nation of Israel and Egypt. This is why many marketplace leaders cannot be entrusted with wealth and influence today. They still live as orphans and slaves by seeking to achieve value through their accomplishments rooted in performance, workaholism, money and fear of failure.

Joseph lived a life that others were attracted to. His life was rooted in his position as a son of his Heavenly Father and his father Jacob. Joseph’s fondness of his father was expressed many times in the scriptures. The one thing he longed for more than anything during those years of separation was to be reunited with his father. This is a picture of the spiritual son to father relationship.

Below is a comparison of what it means to live as a son, versus a slave.

Living as a Son

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Galations 4:6-7).

  • Believes and experiences the unconditional love of the father.
  • Experiences sonship as an heir based on his position to the father.
  • Rests in the security of his father’s provision.
  • When I fail I am still loved.
  • I’m a steward of what my father entrust to me.
  • I love my dad’s character. (unconditional love)
  • Value is totally based on position as a son.
  • Love is experienced.
  • Receives gracefully.
  • Recognizes sins, repentant
  • Lives from the heart
  • Believes he/she is loved
  • Operates in the inner and outer court as both king and priest
  • Godly Kingdom lifestyle defined by grace and redemption
  • Lives under God’s authority

Living as a Slave

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep (Psalm 127:1-2)

  • Believes he must perform to gain the father’s love.
  • Believes becoming an heir is tied to performance, not his position as a son.
  • Believes provision is only through performance.
  • When I fail I believe I deserve judgment.
  • I am entitled to a share of anything I do.
  • I resent my dad’s character.(wants conditions)
  • Value is only based on what I do and how well I do it.
  • Love is earned.
  • Expects an entitlement.
  • Self-righteous, prideful
  • Lives from legalism
  • Believes he/she is defective (shame)
  • Operates only in the outer court of performance as a king
  • Worldly kingdom perspective defined by performance and posturing
  • Rejects God’s authority

God Disciplines His Sons and Daughters

“If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:7-11) .

In order to be a legitimate son or daughter we must allow our Father to discipline us at times. Discipline is always for our profit. God’s desire is that we all become more like His Son, Jesus. That requires “pruning the branch” along the way. And God doesn’t prune dead branches, only those that are alive and yielding fruit. This was true of His own Son. “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8-9).

So, are you living as a son or daughter, or an orphan? God wants to demonstrate His love to you as your Heavenly Father. Why not ask Him to show you how to live as a true son or daughter?

Os Hillman is author of Change Agent and TGIF Today God Is First daily email

Publication date: October 2, 2013

A Resurrected Servant 500 Years Before Jesus.

A Resurrected Servant 500 Years Before Jesus

A scholar friend of mine once remarked, “I must confess: if there is anything that convinces me that the Bible is inspired, and from God, it is Isaiah 53.” Isaiah 52:13–53:12 comes out of nowhere. There is no precedent for an innocent servant of God suffering and dying for the iniquities of others. It is shocking, graphic and brutal, yet profound.

Yet Yahweh was pleased to crush him; he afflicted [him] (with sickness). If she (or you) places his life a guilt offering, he will see offspring, he will prolong days and the will of Yahweh will succeed in his hand. From the trouble of his life, he will see light.1 He will be satisfied. In his knowledge, my righteous servant shall make many righteous and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide to him [a portion] among the many, and with [the] strong ones he shall divide bounty, because he exposed his life to death and was counted with transgressors, and he carried [the] sin of many and will intercede for transgressors (Isa 53:10–12).2

Who is the Servant in Isaiah?

Is the servant the nation Israel or an individual? Scholars often assume it’s always Israel. At the churches where I have taught, the standard belief is the opposite: The servant is always an individual servant, namely Jesus. Both opinions are problematic. Here’s why.

1 Previous to Isaiah 49, the servant is Israel (or synonymously, Jacob).

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You aremy servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off” (Isa 41:8–9).

You [Israel] are my witnesses (“you” is plural in the Hebrew),” declares Yahweh, “and my servantwhom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me” (Isa 43:10).

“But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen!” Thus says Yahweh who made you, who formed you in the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen (Isa 44:1–2).

Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you, you are to me a servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me (Isa 44:21).

For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me (Isa 45:4).

But is the servant always the people of Israel? No.

2 The servant is sometimes an individual, but there is a shift in Isa 49:1–3. Note the first person language for the servant:

Listen to me coastlands, pay attention peoples from afar. Yahweh called me before I was born, whileI was in my mother’s womb he named me. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me and he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he concealed me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” But I said, “I have labored in vain,I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my judgment is with Yahweh, and mywage with my God.”

At first glance, the line “You are my servant, Israel” seems to confirm that Israel is Yahweh’s servant. But, one line later in Isa 49:5, there is a distinction between Israel and the servant:

And now Yahweh says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the sight of Yahweh, and my God has become my refuge.”

Here the servant that Yahweh formed from the womb is bringing “Jacob back to him” and gathering“Israel.” Isaiah 49:6 continues this direction:

He [Yahweh] says, “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvationmay reach to the end of the earth.”

Isaiah 49:5–6 tells us that Jacob and Israel will be gathered, raised up, and restored by the servant. The juxtaposition of Israel against the servant suggests that we should understand Isa 49:3’s line, “You are Israel my servant,” as an annunciation of a new servant who will fulfill all or part of Israel’s role (compare Luke 3:22). While Israel is the servant in Isa 40–48Isa 49 identifies an individual servant.

Character(s) Referred to as “my servant(s)”


Isa 20:3

Eliakim, son of Hilkiah

Isa 22:20


Isa 41:8–942:11943:1044:1–22145:4; (compare Jer 30:1046:27–28Ezek 28:2537:25)

An Individual Servant3

Isa 49:3Isa 52:1353:12

Israel (Plural—“my servants”)

Isa 65:8–913–14

The individual in Isa 52:13–53:12 has taken up Israel’s role as God’s chosen and called servant. It is his duty to reconcile the relationship between God and His people. But how will the servant do this? And how do the results of our interpretation align with biblical scholarship?

Where Our Logic Got Fouled Up

For the last 30 years, biblical scholarship has generally followed the leads of Harry M. Orlinsky and R. N. Whybray when interpreting Isa 53:10–12.4 Although these two scholars had a lot right, they failed to detect the individual servant and his resurrection.

Part of the failure in their interpretation of Isa 53:10–12 is that their focus was only on the servant;not the other characters. They didn’t ask the basic questions: “Who causes the servant’s suffering? Who kills him?” Here’s how we find those answers. When we identify who the pronouns (e.g., she, he, you) refer to, the major players emerge: “the prophet” speaking, “Zion or Jerusalem” acting (Isa 51:3–2352:7), the servant, and Yahweh.5 The result is that Isa 53:10–12 reads:

[The prophet says,] “Yet Yahweh was pleased to crush [the servant]; he afflicted [the servant] (with sickness). If [Zion/Jerusalem] places [the servant’s] life a guilt offering, [the servant] will see offspring, [the servant] will prolong days. And the will of Yahweh is in [the servant’s] hand, it will succeed. Out of trouble of his life [the servant] will see light; [the servant] will be satisfied by his knowledge.” [Yahweh says,] “My righteous servant will bring justice to many and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I [Yahweh] will divide to [the servant] a portion among the many, and with [the] strong ones [the servant] shall divide bounty, because he exposed his life to death and was counted with transgressors, and he carried the sin of the many and will intercede for transgressors.

God is the ultimate cause behind the servant’s suffering (53:12)—it was in His will (Isa 53:10)—but Zion or Jerusalem (who symbolize God’s people) make the servant a “guilt offering.” In ancient Israel, a “guilt offering” was made by someone who had deceived, robbed, defrauded, lied, or swore falsely. In addition to making things right with other people, the Israelites needed to make things right with Yahweh; hence the offering (Lev 5:10–19). Guilt offerings of bulls (or goats) died when offered. So the servant, as the “guilt offering” for God’s people, dies in Isa 53:10.

But something miraculous happens: The servant “sees offspring” and “prolongs days.” Both of these things happen in life (e.g., Gen 48:11Isa 61:9and Exod 20:12Deut 4:405:1617:20;25:15Josh 24:31Judg 2:7Prov 3:1–2). The servant is alive—he is resurrected. Everything in Isa 53:11 also points to resurrection: “he will see light” (compare Isa 9:6Psa 36:1049:20Job 3:16;33:28), and “he will be satisfied in his knowledge.”

“Because the servant exposed his life to death,” and was resurrected, he was able to “carry the sin of many and intercede for transgressors” (Isa 53:12). It is because of the servant’s death and resurrection that God’s relationship with Israel, and with all of us, is reconciled. Now what man does that sound like? Who was killed in Zion by the Jerusalem priesthood? More than 500 years before Jesus, this was prophesied (Acts 2:14–39).

John D. Barry, Editor in Chief, Bible Study Magazine

All Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts and the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) contain the word“light.”

All translations in this article are my own or adapted from the NRSV.

The servant in Isa 49 may be the second-generation of Israelites living in Babylon. For a discussion of this, see my book The Resurrected Servant in Isaiah (Paternoster Press, 2010).

Orlinsky, The So-Called “Servant of the LORD” and “Suffering Servant” in Second Isaiah (Vetus Testamentum Sup 14, Leiden: Brill, 1977) and Whybray, Thanksgiving for a Liberated Prophet: An Interpretation of Isaiah Chapter 53 (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Sup 4, Sheffield: Sheffield, 1978).

For the full analysis of Isa 49 forward and an identification of all the characters involved, see The Resurrected Servant in Isaiah.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazinepublished by Logos Bible Software. Each issue of Bible Study Magazine provides tools and methods for Bible study as well as insights from people like John Piper, Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, Kay Arthur, Randy Alcorn, John MacArthur, Barry Black, and more. More information is available at Originally published in print: Copyright Bible Study Magazine (Mar–Apr 2010): pgs. 37–39.

The Wagons Are Coming.

And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. Genesis 45:27

Jacob’s love for Joseph aroused his ten older sons to jealousy, prompting them to sell Joseph into slavery and then to cover their deed with a lie. In the years that followed, Joseph rose from slavery to power in Egypt, while famine fell upon his family (Genesis 41:56-57).

As his sons journeyed to buy food in Egypt, Jacob looked around and saw his expectations for his sons and his land reduced to dry dust. But Jacob had God‘s Word. Day after day he reminded himself, “In blessing, I will bless thee and in multiplying, I will multiply thee” (Genesis 22:17).

One day he heard a sound—the wagons were coming! But they weren’t creaking and rattling like when they left. No! They were heavy and full of provision and promise! Hold on, don’t despair! The wagons are coming, overflowing with the goodness of God.

God’s provision is worth waiting for. Don’t settle for good. Wait for His best. His provisions last while worldly stuff rusts and corrodes. Don’t settle for rusty iron when He has silver and gold for you.

Lord, I desire Your best. Nothing else will do.
So I will wait for Your treasures and will
stop trying to make things
happen my way. Amen



Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
Hebrews 9:24

Recommended Reading
John 14:1-6 ( )

Copies come from an original. Examples illustrate truth. Foreshadowing is used to point to the future. To reach us, God has to make things simple. If He revealed all of Himself and heaven to us now, we would fall before Him in awestruck fear.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( )

This world is temporary and any roots and security we build here will pass away. Adam and Eve left the Garden. Abraham was a nomad. Jacob fled from his brother. Joshua led the Israelites into a new land. Each of their lives reminds us of the transient and temporary nature of our lives. God gave the Israelites the design of the tabernacle to illustrate His holiness and perfection. The entire structure kept the holiness of God in view. It was made by human hands and was a foreshadowing of heaven, where God dwells in all His glory.

Our life here is a fleeting moment, but we can focus on God, His glory, and the eternity that awaits us when we trust in Him. Then our lives and actions will be gloriously transformed, serving as an example of all that God can do through those who trust in Him.

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.
C. S. Lewis

Hosea 10-14

By David Jeremiah.

{ Day 251 }.

Lord, remember David and all his afflictions; how he swore to the Lord, and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob: “Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house, or go up to the comfort of my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” —Psalm 132:1-5, NKJV

It was not enough for David to seek the Lord privately and experience the pleasures of gazing on His beauty. He wanted a demonstration of God‘s power in Israel for all the nations to see so they would fear the Lord. So intensely did this zeal burn within him that he swore to the Mighty One that he would not pursue his own personal comfort until there was a habitation of the power of God in Israel. Does this describe you? Will you do whatever it takes to see a spiritual breakthrough in your city that results in a long-term habitation of God? David was willing to make sacrifices to see that habitation established. You and I should also yearn to see the habitation of God—a place where God lives and manifests His glory and power over the long term, not just for short seasons of revival.


Father, give me the zeal of David for my city. I long to see my church, my community, my city become a place where You can inhabit with Your presence and dwell. Manifest Your power and glory in my city, I pray.

To be people after God’s own heart, we must
pursue God’s power until it is
established on the earth.


Praying Through Disasters and Worldwide Crises.

Debbie Przybylski

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purposes for me (Psalm 57:1-2).

Dear intercessors,

Every day when we listen to the news we hear of disasters, fighting, and war. It seem to be happening more frequently, and at times seem very close to home. Most of us have not been through a major disaster. But there are smaller crises that can affect us personally and are within the reach of our extended families, or within our city or nation.

In our present day, we are even more aware of international and world problems on a massive scale. The situation in Egypt and Syria right now is ready to explode. Even as I write, the death toll in the Syrian war has been between 82-106,000 people. There has been so much bloodshed in Egypt in the last several days. The situation in the Middle East can affect the entire world. The nations are definitely shaking.

A friend, working internationally informing people of the crisis of AIDs all around the world, told us that the AIDs crisis is critical. What can we do in a world that seems to be so out of control? God is inviting us to be His watchmen in prayer and find Him as our refuge in hard times.

We must learn how to respond in prayer and in action when we hear of disasters and major crises in the world.

Norm and I have traveled to over sixty-five countries. We have been in cities just like yours that later had a major, life-changing disaster. We were once in the beautiful city of Kobe, Japan that later was devastated by a large earthquake. We were in Rabau, Papua New Guinea that later was destroyed by a volcano. But in Rabau the entire city was prepared. Scientists were monitoring the movement of the earth in that area. They had a planned method of escape for if and when the eruption would occur—they practiced and were ready. When the real thing happened, they all escaped unharmed.

We were later in Indonesia and Thailand where a few years ago a tsunami destroyed many cities and villages, killing thousands. This was unexpected. Nobody was ready for the magnitude of that disaster. Within our own cities, we hear of shopping mall and school shootings, of neighborhood robberies and home invasions. A massive tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri two year ago—just a two-hour drive from our home. The truth is that not one of us is immune to the possibility of a disaster happening right where we live or in our own nation.

God wants us to be alert watchmen who know how to pray for cities and nations. As we do, it’s important for us to realize that we don’t have to fear what is happening in the world. God does not want us to be shaken by the nightly news. The Bible says repeatedly that God is our refuge. We can pray through disasters with Him as our refuge. The word“refuge” in Webster’s Dictionary means,“that which shelters or protects from danger, distress or calamity, a stronghold which protects by its strength or a sanctuary which secures safety by its sacredness, any place inaccessible to an enemy.”

God invites us to hide in His closeness. He wants to be our strong place of refuge.

It’s His design that we need a safe place of refuge. He knows that we need to feel secure and safe. He was David’s strong refuge in times of danger (Psalm 71:7; 73:28). David knew how to hide in God’s presence. That’s what He wants us to do. Picture a baby bird hiding under its parent’s feathers. Psalm 57:1 is the picture of us sheltered under the shadow of God’s wings. Take a moment and read Psalm 46, and begin to experience the comfort of what David is saying.

Psalm 46 – A Psalm of Comfort

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah. Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.”

Psalm 46 is a great Psalm for all those who need a refuge. Imagine this. It is written in the context of a big underwater earthquake or nuclear explosion and shows us that we do not need to be afraid of natural disasters. Aren’t there times where you feel the pressure of what is happening on earth? I know I do. But God is our present help even in these times of great trouble. He’s not far away but right there with us (v. 1).

Even a major disaster doesn’t have to make us afraid. The center of security for all of us is God’s presence. Even though the nations are in an uproar, we can feel secure because God is our refuge (v. 6-7). The Psalm says that God brings desolation. He makes wars to cease, he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire (v. 8, 9). God does bring an end to injustice and pain. He brings healing and salvation to our needy world. He invites us to be still and know that He is God. He is in total control. His presence is with us. Psalm 46 ends by saying in verses 10-11, “’Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

In light of all of this end-time turbulence, how can we prepare and pray through the disasters in the world? God’s invitation is for us to enter into urgent watchfulness. How can we help disaster victims and war-torn nations through our prayers and our lives? In looking closer to home, how can we ourselves learn to trust God as our refuge during times of disaster? We read in Psalm 5:11-12:

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” 

Let’s learn to be God’s urgent watchmen during times of disaster and war. Let’s learn to pray for nations in a powerful way that makes a difference.

How to Prepare and Pray Through Disasters

  • Be grateful and thankful for your life and what you have Learn to be extremely thankful every day. You don’t know what a day may bring forth. Appreciate life.
  • Prepare the Church in your city for whatever may come I used to live in a city that had hurricane threats six months out of the year. In Virginia Beach, many came together for several days from 3-6 A.M. to pray for safety in that area. Every city needs to prepare for possible disasters just as they did in Rabau, Papua New Guinea.
  • Face disasters victoriously –Don’t be overwhelmed or lose your faith in God if a disaster hits your city. Realize that He is greater than any disaster and will work it out for good. Pray for disaster victims to stand strong in faith in God.
  • Share the love of Christ with disaster victims by meeting their needs – When we had a hurricane in our city, we helped serve food through the Salvation Army. It was a great way to share the love of Christ.
  • Trust God in the midst of disasters and worldwide shaking –This is the time for the Church to arise and shine. This is a time to show others the peace of God through our lives by living out Psalm 46. Pray this for churches and nations facing disasters and war.
  • Grow deeper in your relationship with God now – Strengthen your prayer life and learn to be still, cultivating God’s presence in your life daily. Pray Psalm 46 for your life and others in your city or in disaster and war-torn areas.
  • Learn to be still – Study Psalm 46 and when it says “selah”, stop and think about what God is saying.
  • Show forth godliness instead of evil – Be careful to live a godly life. What is inside will come out. In our neighborhood a few days after a hurricane, people began to get impatient and irritable. Let’s pray that the people of God shine His light even in the darkest of times.
  • Live and prepare for the eternal – Learn to live for what is really important—not earthly possessions—but eternal life. Narrow down your possessions, and learn to give things away on a regular basis. Everything is about Heaven. It’s time for us to wake up and shake ourselves free from this earth.
  • Pray for the salvation of souls and share your faith – During disasters and times of difficulties, people are open to the Gospel. They need hope, and you have the hope of eternal life. God is the refuge that everyone needs. This is our greatest opportunity for reaching souls.
  • Pray fervently for countries that are in major worldwide turmoil – We must pray for the Middle East at this time. It is our responsibility and affects each one of us.Pray for the Middle East.

Don’t wait for a disaster to apply these truths. God wants each of us to stand strong now. He wants us to live for eternity and pray for the lost now. None of us is outside of the reach of a disaster in our city or nation. We all need to live passionate lives, preparing for our eternal home. Jesus deserves our lives now.

Let’s live 100% for Him, pray for the world with an increasing fervency, grow in knowing Him as our refuge, and learn to be still. He invites us to hide in His presence on a daily basis. When we hear about another disaster on the news, let’s pray fervently for those victims. Let’s not fear disaster but be confident in the Lord. His heart is that we enter into urgent watchfulness and prayer without fear. He is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

To help you prepare for the End Times, attend the Daniel Conference here at IHOPKC for free through the internet starting tonight, August 29-31. See Daniel Conference for information. This is all about the Book of Daniel and is key for what we are now facing in the world.

“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your feet from being snared” (Proverbs 3:25-26).

*This Article first published 9/4/2013

Tony Morgan: Jesus and Football.

Jesus photo

Football season is right around the corner, and so it’s been one of the hot topics of conversation around our home.

I have one son, Jacob. He’s a sophomore this year. When he graduates, I’m guessing the conversations in the Morgan household will be very different. For now, though, I will take advantage of every opportunity I can get to feed my football fix.

In one recent football conversation, Jacob took things in a very odd direction. He likes to share his opinions. (I don’t know where he got that.) He likes to debate. (Again, this must come from his mother.) In this instance, though, I have no idea what he was thinking. The conversation went something like this:

Jacob: If Jesus played football, I don’t think he would be very good.

T-Daddy (That’s what my kids call me.): Have you had one too many of those brain-stunting Monster drinks? What would make you think that?

Jacob: Have you seen the pictures of Jesus? He’s meek and mild. He wears a robe and sandals. The man has feathered hair!

T-Daddy: Don’t believe all those pictures of Jesus that you see. Just because he wore sandals doesn’t mean he isn’t strong. Just because artists show him with long, flowing, feathered hair doesn’t mean he isn’t powerful.

Jacob: You can’t convince me. If Jesus played football, he would be a kicker … for the Bengals.

You need to know the Morgans are Cleveland Browns fans. Because of that, we’re nurtured from an early age to believe anyone who plays for the Cincinnati Bengals is rather wimpy.

Or, for those who prefer political correctness, they are people who are biologically challenged. Thusly, if you are going to be relegated to being a placekicker, the Bengals would be the lowest of the low.

Of course, as Jacob and I are having this conversation, my daughter, Brooke, is right beside us taking it all in. She’s eight, but she knows both Jesus and football.

She listened for a few moments, and then pipes in with this:

“You know–He can hear you.”

Like I said, Brooke knows both Jesus and football. And she was right. Jesus was listening.

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.” (Psalm 139:1-4, NLT)

That was the day that my eight-year-old reminded us that Jesus is with us. He’s listening. He’s watching. His desire is to be fully engaged in our lives.

With that in mind, I’m going to talk to Jesus … and find out if he knows anything about fantasy football.

Tony Morgan is the chief strategic officer and founder of He’s a consultant, leadership coach and writer who helps churches get unstuck.

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